Robot 6

The Middle Ground #49: When Is A Tease Not A Tease?

The teaser image is a hard thing to get right. Case in point: I praised, awhile back, Image’s teaser campaign for what turned out to be Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker, because it seemed to do exactly what I think a teaser campaign should do: Offer visually attractive images that allow for a taste of what the project is about without giving so much away that you have no desire to find out anymore. At the time, I remember thinking to myself, “Between this and Robert Kirkman’s fake Guardians of The Globe teases, Image really know how to make this kind of thing work!”

And then I saw the tease for Mysterious Ways.

Now, Mysterious Ways – a series in which a serial killer turns out to be actually doing God’s work with his murders – was always going to be a hard sell, considering the both blasphemous and morally questionable elements at the core of its story. But there are multiple ways to handle those elements, including something subtle and interesting, questioning ideas of “right” and “wrong,” where the line between faith and delusion is, or how easy/hard/necessary it is to consider “the greater good” in your actions. Lofty ideas, right?

Of course, maybe it’s not a lofty ideas kind of book. Maybe it’s more of a grisly supernatural thriller, in which case ads could focus on the art – The kids like Tyler Kirkham, right? He’s the artist for this, apparently -and dynamic images from the book alongside teasing text.

Or, you know, you could do this:

It’s not just me that thinks this is an incredibly bad teaser, right? Never mind that it could be considered offensive – or, at least, in very poor taste – to have any of these real life serial killers described as a “savior,” it doesn’t even make sense, because the character in the comic – the savior the tease presumably refers to – isn’t even one of the options (Also, the teaser doesn’t identify any of the serial killers on show, so it’s presumably assuming the viewer will recognize them and put it all together that they all share one particularly narrow interest). Maybe the suggestion is that all serial killers share a potential for divinity?

There’s just something… lazy, perhaps, about this teaser, ultimately; it uses sensationalism instead of smarts, offering up something that shocks but doesn’t work, either visually (The layout and choice of font is fairly generic) or textually, beyond the “they’re all serial killers” link. It’s such a poor attempt that it makes the series seem tacky and needless by association – which, let’s face it, is the last thing a series about a man who serial kills for God needs before it’s even started. Here’s hoping for something better next time.

(Talking of next time – and of Top Cow comics, which Mysterious Ways is, for that matter – Next week: FINALLY, what happened when I tried to deal with my prejudice and read Top Cow’s Artifacts, Witchblade, Velocity and Magdalena. Will my uneducated disinterest survive? Seven days until all is revealed.)

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Comments

14 Comments

I think that teaser is disgusting. Yeah, yeah, I understand, is all about shock and bad taste, but this? Is really horrible, lazy teaser.

Peace

Ignoring the quality of the teaser itself, there seems to be a tendency (and has been for years) to glamorize these people who ended people’s lives, often brutally, and irreparably ruined the lives of the families and friends of their victims. This seems in extremely poor taste to me.

Ouch. I haven’t seen that teaser until now, but poor call, Image.

Acrid_Gunsmoke

April 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh……my opinions are offended by seeing such a thing. I’m not adult enough to just look away and find something else to entertain me. Waaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

“My opinions are offended.” That’s a new one.

Everyone is free to do as please when it comes to [marketing] their art, and everyone is also free to find it extremely distasteful and let them know. This is not only offensive to any sense of good judgement, it’s even worse for just being plain ugly.

The really crappy thing about this poorly conceived and offensive marketing piece? We’re talking about it. I almost wrote about it myself, but hated the fact that if I did, in a sense it would partially validate the effort. And I am not knocking you for this piece, Graeme. In fact I appreciate it, because you make a point I never considered: how lazy this marketing is.

Chris Schweizer

I think it’s just human nature to find fascinating that which we cannot understand.
Most of the world’s best known serial killers had an unnatural mystique surrounding their killings (I’m thinking Jack the Ripper and H.H. Holmes for example).

ON-TOPIC
I also think this is just poor advertising, it’s also a easy to exploit tragedies to sell more comics, I’m all for comics that deal with something as serious as serial killers, and I go as far as accepting the idea of making one a killer in the name of God (I recall a book name Killer of Demons which was quite fun), but using real life problems to sell it’s just a cheap trick.

I’d have to disagree about the Butcher Baker teasers — it was ridiculously over done and by the end, you were just tired of it. Was quite pleased to see CBR not participate in that campaign.

That said, this teaser is far worse. Don’t think I’ll be checking out this book.

It’s less offensive than Tyler Kirkham’s artwork.

funkygreenjerusalem

April 20, 2011 at 2:56 am

The really crappy thing about this poorly conceived and offensive marketing piece? We’re talking about it. I almost wrote about it myself, but hated the fact that if I did, in a sense it would partially validate the effort.

Do remember though, that the idea of people talking about something means the campaign worked – even if people are complaining about it – was made up by someone in marketing to justify a disastrous campaign.
I have no proof of that, but I also have zero doubts.

Liked it better when it was a movie called Frailty. That was movie was scary! And thought provoking. This is just exploitive in the worst way.

I agree the teaser is lazy and the comic itself looks like utter crap, but to be offended by it? It’s 2011 and we are still offended by pictures of Charles Manson, etc?

Chris is right it’s 2011 and we should all be jaded or at least numbed to everything. After all being offended means you actually might care about something and that’s so juvenile.

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